social media

Another shout for a Netsquared Europe

June 15th, 2007

Amnesty’s Dan McQuillan has made a rallying call for a Netsquared this side of the pond – which could be an “incubator for web-enabled social change in the UK & Europe”.

An idea. Photo: LeopoldoDan identifies some possible goals:

  • To stimulate web-enabled social innovation
  • To create a an online-offline community for learning skills, sharing experiences and developing expertise
  • To sustain socially progressive activity through alternative business & organisational models

I like the emphasis Dan gives to “activism”, and “the organisational question” in particular…

Perhaps, like the second Netsquared conference, it could aim to incubate a new generation of web-enabled non-profits that use new forms of organising to deliver more directly on their missions.

There is a very real tension between where social media is taking us and how charities are responding (although there needn’t be). Web 2.0 requires Leadership 2.0. Surely two sides of the same coin.

All this may well dovetail with the initiative soon to be unveiled by Bertie Bosredon, the Head of New Media at Breast Cancer Care. Bertie gave me an update earlier this week.

Yesterday, I happened to get a call from Richard Saunders, who is head of website development at NCH, the children’s charity. He also hinted he would welcome a forum along these lines. And Rob Bowker at the BTCV has flagged his interest to me via this blog.

I also know from many of the conversations I had in Brussels last week that there would be an appetite for this elsewhere in Europe, too. Paolo Ferrara left a comment on my recent Buzz Director post to let me know that they are starting to unpick this concept in their own Italian context.

I hope many others will be up for it. But it won’t all be plain sailing; David Wilcox recently held up a mirror to reflect that in the UK at least, the sector has not always been good at being generous in this way.

I’m optimistic. At the start of the year, when I was considering some of the trends that might drive charities in 2007, I wrote that I was “thinking of co-organising an open-space event for those championing social media tools (and change management) within their organisations.” But Dan is right, this is much bigger than a single event.

I would only add that I’d like to see people from all ‘disciplines’ involved in this – I’ve had enough of silo-thinking .

Thank you, Dan; count me in.

Technorati innovation, net2, netsquared, nptech, nptechuk

My Fundraising 2.0 presentation

June 9th, 2007

On Tuesday (…it already seems much longer than that), I facilitated an “online fundraising” workshop for a number of wonderful development NGO-people in Brussels. We were all attending the Euforic AGM. Scarily, a few photos have appeared on Flickr.

Not sure how much sense my presentation will make without the narrative, but here it is anyway:


I peppered the session with examples of charities (and donors) already using social media to raise money for their causes. Participants raised some challenging questions. So challenging in fact, that I need to chew on these for a bit before I can adequately respond. And I didn’t really have time to work in my re-mix of David Wilcox’s card game. I have that for another time.

It was great to meet and talk with fellow blogger Paolo Ferrara, along with Agnes Philippart and Andreas Vogt of Concord.

All told, a whirlwind (and almost sleep-deprived) 24-hours, but I did manage an evening stroll around the Grand Place, fuelled by some Belgian sausages and washed down with a glass or two of Chimay Bleu in the company of Nancy White and Joitske Hulsebosch…to name just two. Many thanks to Peter Ballantyne for the invite, and to Birthe Paul and Martin Behrens for making it easy for me on the day.

Here’s the Slideshare link, in case the presentation doesn’t load.

Technorati concord, euforic, fundraising, giving

Buzz Director: help me write a job description

June 7th, 2007

Buzz Lightyear. Photo: Thomas HawkI thought it was about time to re-visit the role of the “buzz director” – flesh out the role I first floated last October.

This is especially urgent given that much of the action is now taking place away from your own (increasingly irrelevant) website, ‘out there’, in social networks and online communities.

A good example of this is the dispersed hoohah generated by the London 2012 Olympic logo. An immediate ‘loss of control’ if ever there was one. Ben Whitnall asks whether the powers that be will be happy to engage with the debate where it is already happening (e.g the 100+ groups set up on Facebook in the last few days)… or will this be a job turned over to the suits and bean counters in the Ministry for Herding Cats?

Through this post, I’ll ping Jeremy Gould, who hints that heads of “e-communication” in government departments regularly re-assess their “roles and skillsets” now the goalposts have moved. But I reckon this awareness is unlikely to have yet ‘trickled up’ to the accountants.

Another favourite blogger of mine, Jeremiah Owyang, has also chipped in with some suggestions.

Last month I noticed that Shane Atchison included elements of the buzz director role in this post describing what a “Social Network Analyst” might do. I emailed Shane via the ClickZ website. Hope he received it.

Perhaps the “buzz director” label (which was always just a working title) sounds too marketing-centric; I don’t mean it to be; buzz directors need to be able to apply this thinking to online communities and activist networks. I’m talking ‘people’ rather than products.

Anyway, I’m going to quickly throw down some further thoughts. I fear they’ll come out in no particular order, but you’re invited to help me knock this into shape by commenting below. I’ll also set up a wiki (Update: here’s the link).

Oh, by the way… when you do come to recruit for this role, consider putting the word out like this!

Job description

You will:

  • Learn how to be in more than one place at once!! i.e. not just a space ranger but a ‘ranger of spaces’.
  • Co-create targeted engagement strategies with appropriate colleagues, especially social reporters and community technology stewards (if you have them), brand ‘ambassadors’, and ’cause evangelists’.
  • Bring the senior management team with you; earn their respect and backing.
  • Photo: Steve BridgerDevelop and coach on tactics, seeding networks, ‘brand’ positioning, etc.
  • Expect the unexpected, and be resourceful in responding in the moment. Improvise.
  • Funnel organisational strategy into focused activity.
  • Be pivotal in mapping the organisational structure onto web innovation.
  • Be generous. Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant.
  • Recruit virtual volunteers and sprinkle confetti liberally, so that you yourself can leave a ‘light footprint’.

Photos: Marta Motti & Anna Pleteneva
Photos: Marta Motti and Anna Pleteneva

  • Identify and define new measures of engagement, social capital and social impact.
  • Encourage culture of collaboration and joined-up thinking and confront ‘silo’ thinking wherever you encounter it.
  • ParachutistsCall on ‘peace-keepers’ (strictly non-combatants) to follow guidelines (which you yourself have drawn up co-created with key stakeholders.
  • Pull the highlights from the ‘dashboard’ [see below...] and prepare monthly reports of activity and impact. Distribute widely within the organisation and beyond.

Skills

  • Be able to see the wood from the trees and ideally have an eye for visualising data.
  • Be the consummate diplomat and demonstrate the ability to slip into the role of chameleon or conductor when appropriate… and very very occasionally don an invisible cloak (but leave dagger behind).
  • Show good judgement.
  • Some legal nous would be desirable, as would be the ability to conduct risk assessments around ‘user-generated content’.
  • Know how to take calculated risks.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Be inspired and inspire others.
  • Coach.
  • Possess a sixth sense.
  • Be as light on your feet as a prizefighter. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
  • Instinctively recognise when serendipity occurs; capture it, bottle it… and pass on the recipe.

Dashboard

Back in the 1980s we had the press cuttings service (as well as the telephone tree). New functions and responsibilities require new tools and devices.

Ed Mitchell, Nigel Dunn and I have been discussing the concept of a “dashboard”. Now, none of us is absolutely certain yet how or what to measure – well, not everything – although I think we’ve got a pretty good foundation.

Bear with me. I visualise this dashboard as a ‘virtual’ mixing desk… with levers and buttons, dials, green and amber lights, a few scary red ones, a built-in early warning system. Basically, this ‘thing’ would be so cool that nobody will want to be without one. Not if you’re a buzz director, anyway.

Mixing desk

The dashboard would reflect the different activities and behaviours around ‘your’ cause. It would aggregate all the conversations (see Pageflakes, Netvibes, and coComment), but be much more than that.

Check out London-based Onalytica who have updated their website. It now features live graphs offering – as they put it – “an unprecedented X-ray of the stakeholder universe”.

buzz-impact.gif

buzz-voice.gif

Right, need to set up that wiki…

Wikispaces

Caveat: this is a work in progress.

Technorati buzz director, community dashboard, net2, nptechuk, social media measurement

Debunking the myth of the “Third World”

April 13th, 2007

Those of you who read my recent telephone tree post will know that I studied ‘development’ at university. Naturally, I’m also a fan of Gapminder. So it was a real treat to come across this.

YouTube Preview Image

If you cannot make sense of big issues through storytelling, then you might as well have some fun with statistics.

Anyway, I’m off to Yorkshire for a long weekend.

Technorati development myths, gapminder, hans rosling, visualisation

We are all photographers now

April 12th, 2007

First post in a while for a number of reasons. Anyway, this stroked my ego.

The three images I uploaded to the “All photographers now” exhibit were showcased in the Musée de l’Elysée galleries in Lausanne, Switzerland recently.

How do I know (given that I’m in the UK)? Well, I received an email informing me that my images were exhibited. But that’s just the half of it: attached to the email were some installation views of my images in situ, showing them projected on the gallery wall – like the one pictured (and here’s the original photo on Flickr).

My photo in the “We are all photographers now!” exhibitionI wasn’t 100 percent sure what might have happened to my images once I’d uploaded them via this form.

My mate Nigel (who knows about these things), reckons the photos would go into a database that gallery downloads, gets stuck into some sort of slideshow and then just projected, as you would a presentation.

What made this different to, say, the Flickr Peep Show in Amsterdam a couple of years ago was that they have linked it all together – by taking a photo of my photo being shown… and email that back to me – although probably not that sophisticated, really. Maybe a webcam capture linked with my name and email address.

For a not-for-profit, maybe this is something a commercial partner might want to sponsor for a few grand (my emails from the Musée de l’Elysée suggested they had done a partnership with Hewlett-Packard).

My Flickr buddy Ed Fladung recently suggested that Yahoo! develop a micro-payment system for Flickrites who wish to sell their photos. Even better, a way of funnelling the payments to their favourite cause – although you (the not-for-profit) may want to vet the photos ‘donated’ in your name. Anyway, you get the picture!

This isn’t altogether new. I know of the Big White Box, which was set up by Brunel University student, David Bailey (must be another one), as part of his research into “how the collaborative power of the internet can be used to raise money for charity”. Profits are donated to a handful of UK charities, although I couldn’t get word from David on how much, etc.

And let’s not forget the brilliant DoggySnaps.com. I interviewed Tim Malbon about how the Dogs Trust will benefit from selling the rights to the cream of the crop posted there. As an aside, I actually met Tim for the first time at the Goodness 2.0 event the other evening (see Ian Delaney’s write up on the NMK site).

Greenpeace are at the top of the innovation tree with some pretty awesome participative campaigning. Take the GreenMyApple and Defending our Oceans campaigns, which give people a voice and a platform.

A Reflection of Hope - photo by Lisa - published with permissionI followed the Greenpeace ship “Esperanza” as she voyaged the Southern Seas, via this stunning photostream on Flickr.

The whole DIY phenomenon has certainly been spurred on by Flickr, other photo-sharing communities, and the explosion of Creative Commons.

If you’re not doing this already, ask your supporters (and their networks) to submit some photos for the front cover of your annual report. You can even draw upon the freedom of the commons, and invite photo remixes.

Have you seen the ‘naked’ covers to some Penguin Classics in the bookstores? The publisher invited readers . There’s an online gallery, and some of the best ones can be viewed on Flickr, too. Great innovation.

There are so many other examples. For example, my mate Ed Mitchell will have one of his Vietnam photos on the next WWF calendar. One of my own photos of corn drying out on the roof of a church in rural Mexico (rather mundane you might think) recently accompanied a news article on citizen journalism website, NowPublic. And I could talk all day about the impact of the After Wilma group on Flickr.

The remarkable and omnipresent Beth Kanter has pulled together Ten Cool Examples of Nonprofits Using Flickr. These include a few of my own favourites and is a must-read.

I particularly like how the ONE Campaign explains to those without a Flickr account just what they need to do to add their face to the Faces of ONE Group.

In February, Flickr released a bundle of improvements for Group administrators, including the very cool ‘Invite a Photo’ feature:

You’re surfing through the Flickrverse and you find a photo that would be perfect for your group. This new feature will allow an administrator to invite that particular photo to their group without membership requirement. You’ll see a new link under the comment box that says ‘Invite this photo to…’

Invite a Photo

I hadn’t spotted this until this week.

Amazing to think that just two or three years ago, sourcing photos for a website was a real headache.

Technorati flickr, micropayments, musee de lelysee, net2, nptech, one campaign, photography

That Sarah McLachlan music video

March 7th, 2007

I’m a little slow on the uptake on this one… like two years!

Canadian singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan’s World on Fire music video cost $150,000 to produce… except it didn’t, it cost $15 and the rest was donated to these charities.

YouTube Preview Image

Well, it hasn’t actually been available on YouTube for that long; thanks to Kai Chan Vong at Justgiving for the tip off.

Oh, and Justgiving has launched its very own page on YouTube. I’m pretty certain that we’ll see a steady increase in the number of people capturing their fundraising stories on video.

Of course, we already know that $500 can buy a family in China a water buffalo.

Technorati justgiving, sarah mclachlan, youtube

Widgets of the world unite…

March 6th, 2007

I’ve been having a lot of widgety thoughts recently, so I thought I’d bundle up a few loose ends in the one (long) post.

First though, if you’re playing catch-up a bit, Heidi Cohen has written a good widgets primer on ClickZ.

18seconds.org badgeNow… I happened to replace half a dozen conventional light bulbs at home on Sunday with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Over in the US, Yahoo! has launched a campaign in collaboration with Inconvenient Truth producer Lawrence Bender, Wal-Mart, and others, to raise awareness among Americans about the energy and environmental savings afforded by CFLs.

When you purchase a CFL bulb anywhere in the US it will be added to 18seconds.org! And, you guessed it… you can easily and quickly configure your own widget (or ‘badge’ in Yahoo-speak) and install it on your website, blog and / or social network page with a simple cut and paste. Brilliant!

If you’re interested in reading more about the campaign, Lawrence Bender has written a guest post on Yahoo’s Yodel Anecdotal blog.

Demonstrating impact

The first book I ever read on campaigning was Des Wilson’s A to Z of Public Advocacy, first published in 1984. I can’t lay my hands on my copy (in the garage?) but if I recall correctly, one of Des’s golden rules was encourage you to campaign for something, rather than against something, and the 18seconds widget does a great job of visualising – in raw numbers anyway – the accumulated impact of hundreds of thousands of small actions by distributed individuals to effect positive change.

I emphasise “positive” change, as leveraging Web 2.0 communication tools for good was something that was discussed in a lively ‘conversation’ hosted by Amnesty’s Dan McQuillan during the Uploading Innovation ‘unconference’ last week.

If you hadn’t guessed already… for me, widgets are one of the most exciting ingredients in the emerging Web 2.0 toolbox.

Wear your cause on your blog

Another new kid on the widget block is Carebadges, who aspire to be the yellow bracelet campaign of the web, and while I think the implementation can be improved a lot, I agree with co-founder Saar Gur who told me:

Uploaded by Zanoobi on 26 May '05We think that as people express their identities on the web, there is a big gap where social causes ought to be. We want people to express the things that they care about beyond cultural items (music, movies, etc.).

Last year I actually registered the domain name – mycauses.org.uk – and wrote on this blog that I would willingly give it up to any organisation which promised to use it wisely (or hand it over to MySpace if they agreed to establish a “My Causes” tab on their social networking site!)

Anyway, I interrupted Saar…

We want to give people ‘badges’ to help them identify with a cause and have a positive social influence amongst their peers. We use our “impact meter” of impressions/awareness, donations/support to help recognise folks that use their popularity for good. The money [donations] will come later if we can give tools to those who want to create cool badges, email signatures, etc., and we focus on the social impact that each user has in recruiting new members…

I’m not totally convinced in this peer group tactic, in much the same way as I’m not sure how much saying “I’m In” means you’re really anything other than a number. You’re agreeing that Oxfam’s mission is a noble thing.

Widgets have the potential to show you how by taking this or that action, you are making a difference.

Communicating success

This could be the Holy Grail for widgets.

18seconds does this in a visually compelling way… it joins the dots… and it makes it look simple.

But wait a minute. ChipIn’s Carnet Williams says something very interesting in this interview with Britt Bravo (which to Britt’s great credit rather trumps my own interview with Carnet last month).

Carnet says…

What I think 2007 really should be part of is the evolution of the widget into a smart widget. We are going to see widgets that are going to be focused around transactions, such as a ChipIn widget around donations, focused around intelligent content, meaning that widgets will soon be able to identify the users, and where they’re located, so that they can serve our conditional and intelligent content.

I really think that widgets are going to evolve and you’re going to start seeing a whole new breed of widgets that are more intelligent, that are richer in the data, and that have a much more grounded rationale so they’ll move from becoming decorations to part of a business process for companies and individuals online.

Now the slightest hint of ‘smart’ widgets is enough for me: if I could only get information I care about – e.g. what difference a project I supported is actually having, or the accumulated effect of campaigning actions, etc. via a widget… now, that would surely become a key driver of my future support for that cause.

The Network Effect

For a great insight into the power of the widget widget web, check out Dion Hinchcliffe’s excellent article, Tracking the DIY phenomenon Part 1: Widgets, badges, and gadgets.

Dion identifies the YouTube ‘badge’ (we’re still talking widgets) as demonstrating the value of ‘chunking’ up content and services into bite-sized reusable pieces.

Particularly because it has so many viral distribution pieces built into it, the YouTube badge is the canonical example of the power of opening up and letting the entire web distribute your content for you.

Not content just to ask you if you’d like to share a video with friends via e-mail (resulting in friends forwarding to friends, and to their friends and so on) but YouTube makes the code snippet for embedding it right on your own site or blog readily visible and available to the right of each video.

Not content just to have their content just on a single site, YouTube realized that it was by mobilizing millions of users to extend the YouTube platform to their own sites that they could achieve lasting and durable network effects. E-mail propagation is powerful but it’s almost certainly no match for having millions of persistent, discoverable YouTube badge installations all over the web.

Dion kindly gave me permission to reproduce the following graphic (originally published here) which illustrates the full potential of the network for extending the reach of your widget / message.

Widget Network Effect: Dion Hinchcliffe - graphic reproduced with permission

Here in the UK, Justgiving has added badges (these are just badges) to the toolset available to fundraisers (is it just me who thinks all widgets, gadgets, etc… look better with rounded corners?).

Justgiving badge

Their widgets have been doing pretty well, too. Since their release at the end of December, over 8,000 individual Justgiving widgets have been posted on the web and the highest performing widgets have registered over 500,000 page impressions.

Right now, there are 1,479 “active” Justgiving widgets, all doing their stuff, and this figure is expected to rise pretty steeply as we get nearer to the London Marathon.

Justgiving’s Simon Doggett told me that a Flash version of their widget is in testing, and should be released later this month (fundraisers have been asking for a widget that is optimised for those websites that currently block iframes, e.g. MySpace).

Well, that turned into rather a long post, so I had better think of a way to summarise how I believe widgets can prove a winner for not-for-profits:

  • You move beyond the single website model and turn the entire web into a distribution system for your content / stories (Dion Hinchcliffe)
  • Smart widgets will (hopefully soon) allow you to report back on how you are making a difference

Technorati 18seconds, chipin, justgiving, nestauploading, net2, nptechuk, saar gur, widgets

Children’s charity checks into virtual hotel

March 3rd, 2007

I’ve written previously about how the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has embraced innovation to raise awareness of its cause.

Now Childline, which merged with the NSPCC last year, has created the Childline Zen Garden room in Habbo Hotel – a virtual community for teenagers. The child protection charity hopes that its three-month stay in Habbo (until May) will allow it to reach out to the young audience in their natural browsing environment.

The room was unoccupied when this screengrab was taken as all ‘Habbos’ (the user-created avatars) were in school at the time.

Childline Zen Garden in Habbo Hotel

The charity will host events and activities on Habbo aimed at getting young people involved in its anti-bullying campaign, Don’t Hide It.

Rebecca Newton, Safety & Moderation Manager for Habbo’s creators, Sulake Corporation, told me that there’s a promo on the Habbo UK website about the Zen Garden room. This is the primary way of pushing traffic to partnered areas – along with word-of-mouth.

Habbo UK now attracts 750,000 players aged 11-18 each month, according to this BBC article.

Habbo Hotel UKEmily Knee, NSPCC’s digital project manager is quoted as saying…

It is imperative that we talk to teenagers in their own environment, much of which is online

She hopes the partnership with Habbo will drive traffic to the NSPCC website, as well as encouraging members of the community to take part in polls and design an anti-bullying themed room.

The NSPCC previously ran some interactive ads on Habbo (as well as Mykindaplace and Bebo).

Habbo started in Finland in 2000, so pre-dates Second Life by three years or so. It’s probably the first successful virtual world this side of the pond.

I like the look of the two-dimensional Habbo. It’s more colourful than Second Life’s 3D environment – and hence, more appealing to teens.

As Rebecca put it:

There’s no peer pressure to look “older” or “cool” since we’re all 2-inch pixelated characters.

Technorati anti-bullying, childline, habbo hotel, net2, nptechuk, nspcc, sulake

Valentine’s Day meets Web 2.0

February 15th, 2007

I meant to post this yesterday, but a deadline prevented me from doing so. Then, of course, blogging was out of the question in the evening (you know what day it was).

I may have earned some leeway had I been bright enough to think up something as clever as this. But instead I tucked into Gicela’s home-made chicken mole, followed by a DVD (…since you asked, it was Volver).

Anyway, I digress.

This pacy video by Michael Wesch has been doing the rounds in recent days, but since I viewed it for the first time only yesterday (where have I been?), I thought I’d post it here, in case you missed it, too!
YouTube Preview Image

This five-minute clip itself became a lesson in viral video and the power of Web 2.0

Oh, and another video: an amusing reality check

Technorati michael wesch, web 2.0 valentine

Charities: Are you cool or old school?

February 6th, 2007

Launch of Global Cool charity and campaign in London, 30 January 2007

Compare this photo of the Windows Vista launch (blogged by Seth Godin last week to make a slightly different point) with the photo above – taken in London less than 24 hours later after the launch of Global Cool – a 10-year campaign “to reverse global warming”.

With which image do you most associate your charity?1

I mentioned Global Cool to Whitewater’s Steve Andrews and Anna Crofton over a beer last week. I predict that we will see new charities like Global Cool popping up in other ‘areas of benefit’, perhaps filling a gap a sluggish or less effective organisation has ‘vacated’.

Small charities can now have influence way beyond their size. Individuals, too.

Steve then highlighted the examples of Kiva.org and Robert Thompson’s water buffalo movie on the Whitewater group blog, which I wrote about last time. But he offers more evidence that the charity sector cannot afford to stand still.

Earlier this week I sat through the first four Whitewater Baby Boomer focus groups and, while it’s early days, I’ve heard plenty of donors say they’re bored and turned off by fundraising that asks for generic donations into the corporate pool. And, conversely, I’ve heard them thrilled with the idea that donations might actually pay for the stuff they’ve donated to. Ear-marking really is the future, whether we like it or not.

Now I’m not qualified enough to judge the credentials of the founder Dan Morrell and the scientific brains behind Global Cool, nor get into a debate about whether carbon offsetting will really make a difference, or whether we need to go much further… but that’s not my point anyway.

Frankly, I like their style.

Platinum-selling recording artists such as KT Tunstall and Josh Hartnett will act as ‘messengers’ to “empower a community of individuals” to take positive collective action. MySpace is also on board and will be pushing the message out to its millions of subscribers.

Chancellor Gordon Brown and Bill Gates addressing the Scottish Parliament. Photo courtesy of The Scottish ParliamentLast week Chancellor Gordon Brown said politicians must be more open and accountable if they are to engage new generations of internet-savvy voters in tackling the most urgent problems of the 21st century.

The Chancellor (pictured right) told delegates at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in Edinburgh that young people growing up with MySpace and YouTube expect to be involved more fully in political deliberation than previous generations. Access to information and the ability to mobilise public campaigns online has empowered ordinary citizens, he said.

Personally, I don’t think Global Cool is about the cult of celebrity but recognises that by harnessing the power and energy of the entertainment industry much can be done to spread the message. What do you think – a short-term publicity stunt or 10-year slog?

Al Gore is in it for the long haul. I was surprised by Gore’s wit and style in An Inconvenient Truth, which I watched on DVD for the first time last night. Big Al is now a Nobel nominee and the film is up for an Academy Award. Environment Minister David Miliband announced on Friday that the British government will distribute the film to all secondary schools in England (in the US, the National Science Teachers Association rejected a similar offer).

Anyway, before you think I’ve lost my judgement, I know ‘being cool’ and show-offy is no substitute for substance. But I have no reason to doubt that those fronting Cool Planet do not have the passion for their cause. Now they need to show they can be effective.

A decade ago, Joe Saxton wrote in What Are Charities For?

[Charities] have the potential to do far more than a better job. They exist because of what they believe in. The roots of most charities are in visions of a better world. Yet those visions, those beliefs, those values are all too often hidden. The beliefs are there, but the passion has gone the fire in the belly, the outrage and the anger long extinguished by layers of hierarchy, working parties and procedure.

Joe called on charities to put themselves forward as moral leaders and the source of new and innovative ideas to tackle some of society’s intractable problems.

If you do not, you will end up somewhere near the middle of Kathy Sierra’s mediocrity index.

1 I know Microsoft is not a charity… I’m just comparing the two images to make a point :)

Technorati dan morrell, global cool, global warming, joe saxton, seth godin, whitewater